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October 31, 2014

Two Reasons Why the Golden Globes Are Silly

by Joel Keller, posted Dec 14th 2010 11:30AM
Piper Perabo in 'Covert Affairs'Let's face it: For a television fan, the Golden Globes are a fun diversion, something to help you through your winter doldrums. But in the parlance of television awards, the Globes are a distant second to the Emmys in importance, for a couple of reasons. One is timing; while it's the high season for motion pictures and their awards, the Globes come a couple of months after TV's Emmy and premiere-laden peak period.

But the second reason is that the nomination list is often very silly.

As much as the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has tried to buckle down over the last few years and give nominations to people that actually deserved them, there is one or two head-scratchers on the nomination list every year, and this year is no different. A couple of reasons why the Globe nominations always seem to look silly:

Attention-grabbing nominations and snubs:
Did you do the same triple-take I did when I saw the list of nominees? Given the number of outstanding dramas that graced our TVs this past year, it's almost understandable that a show like 'Breaking Bad' could be left off.

The five nominees for Best Drama Series all deserved a spot on the list, including 'The Walking Dead,' which was probably the biggest surprise. Still, it seems hard to believe that the HFPA didn't think that 'Breaking Bad' wasn't better than 'Dexter' or 'The Good Wife,' even if only by a hair.

But the nomination of Piper Perabo for 'Covert Affairs' is the real shocker here. Nothing against Perabo, but the only heavy acting load she does on 'Affairs' is jumping while shooting a gun behind her. No easy task, but not exactly worthy of being put on a list with names like Margulies, Moss, Sagal, and Sedgwick.

It feels like the HFPA gives nominations like this just to attract the wrath and indignation from the press. Remember, this is the same organization that felt that Pia Zadora was the "Best New Star" (an award that fortunately no longer exists) of 1981, so they have a long history of doing this kind of thing. What's the harm, right? They get a bunch of press and then they end up giving the award to someone who deserves it. But every time they do it, it reminds people why the Globes should never be taken as seriously as the Oscars or Emmys (which shouldn't be taken that seriously, either, but that's a subject for another post).

Eric StonestreetEveryone-in-the-pool supporting nominations: There's a good reason why the Globes combine comedy, drama, and miniseries in their supporting categories: time constraints. The motion picture nominations take a lot of the time that could be spent giving out separate supporting actor and actress awards in the TV category. The compressed nature of the Globes -- along with the buzzed, industry-party nature of the ceremony -- is what has raised the ceremony's profile over the years. It's a fun show that isn't dragged down by the boring awards the Oscars and Emmys insist on giving out.

Still, it's hard to judge acting work from a drama against one from a comedy. It's equally tough to judge a performance shaped over a series of episodes against a one-off performance in a TV movie. The television nominating process gives no indication that a single episode needs to be submitted, like with the Emmys. The members of the HFPA, who are supposed to be entertainment journalists, nominate based on the overall impressions they've gathered over the last year via their work.

That means that Eric Stonestreet's 20-plus episode portrayal of Cam on 'Modern Family' is being judged against David Strathairn's excellent but limited appearance as Dr. Carlock in the HBO movie 'Temple Grandin.' So, for all we know, Stonestreet's ten or so hours of screen time are in competition with Strathairn's 20 minutes. Doesn't quite seem fair, does it?

The other by-product of this all-in-one method is that many worthy nominees get left off the list. Aaron Paul won a supporting actor Emmy for 'Breaking Bad,' didn't even get nominated for a Globe. Given his multi-layered performance last season, you'd think he'd be a shoo-in. But, then again, it's the Golden Globes. Once Piper Perabo got a nomination, all bets were off.

(Follow @joelkeller on Twitter.)

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alex

I agree Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie for the Tourist...Johnny Depp for Alice in Wonderland was a recreation of his role in Willy Wonka. I'm so tired of this big to do about Johnny Depp...he's a highly overrated actor. How can anyone take the best actor awards seriously without having Leo DiCaprio and Ewan MacGregor on them. Two of our finest young actors....Both have done exceptional work for years and never nominated...what a joke...Academy awards are just as bad....I believe they're both popularity contests...

December 15 2010 at 6:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Majella

Piper Perabo has quietly racked up 10 years of hard slog in the film industry. Give the poor kid a go! Covert Affairs is just another rung up the ladder for her. I hope the kid wins. That should put you all in a tailspin! Pedestrian? I think she's worn down enough shoe leather. Well, she might have enough for a trip to the podium.

December 15 2010 at 5:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
gooby

I'm sorry but why is Walking The Dead nomination silly or surprising? The show is really well done all around and the acting is superb. The fact that it features zombies should not factor into whether it's a good show or not. Sci-fi and fantasy shows have a bad rep, but they CAN be quality and I think this pretty much proves it. I thought so even before the nomination. It's simply put one of the best TV shows of the year, period. So in my mind it definitely deserved the nomination.

I was, however, really shocked to see Piper Perabo's name up there. I've watched most of the episodes aired and I have to say that the show is really weakly written and Perabo's performance did not wow me at all. I mean, this is not even Alias caliber show and Perabo is no Jennifer Garner. That show had quality acting and material to act with, Covert Affairs however does not. This totally baffles me as well.

December 14 2010 at 5:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kristi

Agree with you again, but it's one of my biggest pet peeves about all the award shows, and I think it's worth mentioning in every case.

December 14 2010 at 1:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
member1070

Three Reasons Why the Golden Globes Are Silly!
Nominations for:
'The Tourist'
Angelina Jolie, 'The Tourist'
Johnny Depp, 'The Tourist'

December 14 2010 at 12:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kristi

I completely agree (when I saw Piper, I did a shocked "WHAAA?" face. AND I watch Covert Affairs! So don't get me wrong, I think she and the show are fun, but award-worthy? eh... AND I had the same reaction to the TV Supporting Categories, how can you really compare them, it's like apples and oranges. What are you in the mood for?)

I think the other thing is that the recycle nominations as well. Like for example, Hugh Laurie of House. No doubt he's an amazing actor, but I wouldn't call this fall season's acting award-worthy compared to some fresh new talent on a slew of dramas.

December 14 2010 at 12:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Kristi's comment
Joel Keller

Nominating the same old people doesn't make them any different from the folks at the television Academy, though, which is why I couldn't cite that in this post.

December 14 2010 at 12:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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